This last week included a grand total of seven soccer games for the Kreiling family. Dominic had three varsity games and Gavin had four games in Madison. All soccer, all weekend.
For sure, I had a great time watching them both play. It’s always fun watching my boys doing something they are passionate about.
What I’m specifically grateful for today is the way sports helps them learn to be better leaders and adults. Throughout both of their games they did some things with extreme excellence and they both made mistakes. Regardless of the action, they learned and grew from the experience.
Both learned some priceless and timeless leadership lessons I hope they draw from throughout their lives.
For sure, sports won’t be their careers. That said, their sports experiences are helping them grow and mature into the leaders they can be. Seeing glimpses of that growth over the past week have been awesome!!
As the pieces come together on my writing I’m continually grateful for this journey. Losing Dad was the most difficult time of my life to date. The pain can still be raw at times. I often wish for an opportunity to have a few more minutes with him, another conversation, or another hug. The sense of loss will never leave my soul.
What’s interesting is that the more I write the more my thoughts shift from loss to gratitude for the time I had with Dad. So many wonderful moments, memories, and experiences with him. I am so fortunate to have had Dad in my life.
The more I write the more memories come back. The more I write those memories down the more memories that also rise up to the surface. And so it goes.
In many ways this journey has brought me closer to Dad. I’m seeing more clearly the impact he’s had on my life and the legacy I hope to leave my boys. As I write I’m seeing the good and the bad, what I’d love to grow into and the gaps I need to cross.
All the while I know Dad is with me in this journey. I can feel him supporting and guiding me. We do this together. It isn’t my story I am writing, it is our story we’re writing. Each step is a smile, a discovery, a lesson, and a moment I’m grateful for.
For the third time today I can’t help but chuckle as I remember that it can be so difficult to be thankful and appreciative for something until it is gone. There are so many things in life I’ve taken for granted and have only noticed once they were removed. The appreciation is so much easier afterwards as I can start to more fully grasp the impact that was made by it.
The first day of school is one of those things. When I was cruising back through some old pictures I came across many first day of school pictures until I got to 2020. There weren’t any. I paused and asked Becky if I was looking in the right place. She reminded me that they were non-existent as they were schooling online. Crazy! How quickly I forget. Then I paused and remembered just how special these first day of school pics are.
Each year this is a day when there is almost guaranteed to be a photo of both the boys side by side. Just like the rings in the tree we can se the growth of the boys by looking back through the old first day of school pics. For instance, here’s 2015 on the left and 2021 on the right:
The way these boys have grown blows my mind! It is difficult for me to grasp just how quickly they’ve grown in such a short period of time.
What made these year even crazier was their ride to school. No bus for these boys for their first day. They loaded up into their car and Dominic drove them to school. Peace out school bus, hello freedom through personal transportation!
I’m thankful for getting back into the habit of the first day of school pics even though I’m suddenly feeling way older than I did when I woke up today 😉